Quick Strikes: Jake Dotchin gets his first career NHL goal

and Yanni Gourde’s life came full circle last night

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning stormed into San Jose and shocked the Sharks, winning by a score of 5-1 in a game with a lot of milestones. [Raw Charge]

Let’s go through the milestones one at a time:

Jake Dotchin’s first career NHL goal

Here is @loserpoints with what he thought of the goal, from his recap of last nights’ game (link above).

“Dotchin had to wait a while for his first goal but when he got it, it wasn’t a cheapy. He’s shown that he has a hard shot but just doesn’t always seem to have a great idea of where it’s going. This one was placed well and ended up in the back of the net.”

Chris Kunitz’s 900th career game

Kunitz didn’t play most of his games with the Bolts, but boy are we glad he’s on our team now. Kunitz has been able to be a dependable and steady bottom-six winger for Cooper all season and it doesn’t appear as though he’s slowing down any time soon.

Coach Jon Cooper’s 200th career win

Joe says that this is Cooper’s 200th win, whereas Hockey Reference has tallied 201 wins for Cooper as a head coach. Either way, Cooper and John Tortorella (239) are the only Lightning coaches with at least 200 wins.

Three cheers for Jake, Chris, and Jon!

Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov have left the echelon of league wide “dynamic-duos” and are touching the all-timers. [Tampa Bay Times]

“Here are some traits that Stamkos-Kucherov share with the historic duos that makes them special.

Wayne Gretzky-Jari Kurri

Nobody will ever match Gretzky (top right), dubbed "The Great One" for good reason. He’s the best player of all time. It’s the way Stamkos and Kucherov read off each other and anticipate each other’s movements that has Engblom comparing them to the former Oilers stars. Stamkos said he and Kucherov share the same instincts and deceptiveness, and think about the game the same way.”

Yanni Gourde was once in the San Jose Sharks system as a prospect and, at the time, it appears as though the AHL was as far as he would get. [Tampa Bay Times]

“Gourde, an undrafted and undersized (5 feet 9) forward, had to claw his way into the NHL. He seemed light years away while playing those eight games with the Bulls. He had bounced in and out of the AHL Worcester Barracudas lineup, struggling to find his way.”

Victor Hedman has been the top defenseman on the Lightning for years, at yet, this season he is being asked to eat-up more minutes than he’s ever had to before. [Tampa Bay Times]

“Not only is Hedman’s average around 90 seconds higher than his previous best, 24:30 last season, but it’s more than the other defensemen with whom he was a Norris Trophy finalist last year, Karlsson at 25:37 and the Sharks’ Brent Burns at 25:07.”

The Prospects

Boston University senior and promising Tampa Bay Lightning defensive prospect Johnathan MacLeod has been “rotating out” of some games due to the immense depth on the BU back-end. [Raw Charge]

“For MacLeod, this isn’t very good news. Even if he had been able to sign with the Lightning over the summer, there wasn’t much of a place for him in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch with Erik Cernak’s acquisition plus Matt Spencer coming in as a rookie on the right side to go with second-year pro Ben Thomas and veteran Jamie McBain. MacLeod more than likely would have been sent to the ECHL.”

The NHL is a tough place to get to.

OHL and Lightning prospect Alexey Lipanov will be joining the enemy (of his league, at least) when he dresses for Russia in their game versus Team OHL on Thursday night. [Barrie Examiner]

“The Canada-Russia series is an annual tournament that features top junior players from the Canadian Hockey League against some of the top junior Russian players.”

Mathieu Joseph is making strides after having a private meeting with Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx. [Bolt Prospects]

“He told me that he wanted me to have fun on the ice,” Joseph said. “My confidence wasn’t really there and I was trying to analyze the game too much. He gave me a little bit of a boost of confidence.”

The Game

Elliotte Friedman reported in his 31 Thoughts treasure-trove that the Anaheim Ducks wanted Vadim Shipachyov and they were willing to trade for him. [Anaheim Calling]

“However, the bonus repayment situation complicated the issue, while Shipachyov’s public statement of wanting to return to Russia likely contributed to a deal not coming to fruition.”

The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Riley Sheahan from the Red Wings not too long ago, and so far seem happy with their purchase. [Pensburgh]

“He’s also been gifted with the opportunity to play with several big names on the team thanks to Coach Sullivan trying out different line combinations to get his team back on track, and according to Sheahan, it’s been a really great experience to play with such skilled guys.”

Highlight of the Night: Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Anthanasiou administers a “datsyukian deke” to Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin. Watch both videos and tell me that they are not spitting images of each other. I’ll wait. [Reddit]

Okay, Henrik didn’t end up on him bottom, but it was very close.